From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.
if Godfrey Bloom dislikes Europe and the EU so much (Yorkshire Post, November 24) I am completely at a loss as to why he stood for their Parliament in the first place.
It is time to ask whether it is intellectually consistent or honest to accept the salary and use the facilities of the Parliament when one is so bitterly critical and destructive. Does he criticise the whole principle on which the EU is based or does he just want the UK out? If it is the former, his position is even more indefensible.
One can only wonder at the tolerance displayed by the EU to someone who is so antipathetic towards it. It hardly squares with the rigid inflexible image the Eurosceptics like to portray.
From: David Houghton, Martin Croft, Silkstone, Barnsley.
TILL receipts in France, Germany and Austria have the total cost in euros. The total also appears in francs, marks and schillings including the currency conversion rate.
That’s confidence in the euro for you.
Rail savings don’t add up
From: John Burrill, The Locks, Bingley.
THROUGH your paper could I please ask whoever does the maths to explain how 10 minutes time saving on the journey between Leeds and Manchester adds up to £6.7bn in economic benefit (Yorkshire Post, November 29).
If the average cost of time is £50 per hour then each 10 minute saving would be worth £8.33 or put the other way would need 804 million journeys to achieve benefits of £6.7bn.
This would mean every person in the UK making this journey at least once a year for 10 years or a few people living on the train forever.
The same fantasies in benefits also apply to the high speed rail link to Yorkshire. In an age when digital communications are getting better by the minute and we are being urged to travel less by the green lobby, when is this madness going to end?
By all means improve the trains and the service but the minor savings created by this huge spending plan do not add up to the stated benefits.
Don’t forget that the total end-to-end journey time is not significantly improved by 10 or even 30 minutes saving unless you happen to live in Leeds station and want to do business in King’s Cross or vice versa.
It is more likely that you live in North Yorkshire, need to drive to Leeds station, get the train to King’s Cross and a taxi to the City, total journey time four to five hours.
Free milk and costly cartels
From: Nick Yates, Laverock Lane, Brighouse.
I READ that the coalition is determined to end the “abuse” of a system which is said to waste millions every year paying “profiteering” middlemen who buy milk from wholesalers and sell it to nurseries, in many cases at a cost of £1 per pint.
“Every child will continue to receive free milk. That entitlement will not change but the system has to.
“We are clear this abuse of taxpayers’ money is going to end,” said a Government spokesman.
The matter of free milk for the under-fives is the very tip of the iceberg.
A broader area where “abuse of taxpayers’ money” is well-known to local councillors and council officers as “procurement” the method by which the councils purchase goods and services from the private sector.
Rules and regulations make for a situation whereby only a handful of firms can bid for contracts, creating something worse than a cartel and resulting routinely in costs of three times the going rate.
There is support for change but the problem involves so many entities and interested parties that it has been all but impossible to make progress.
Changes would save us an estimated annual saving of £2.5bn nationally.
Change has to come from central government and the present financial situation provides an opportunity to extend their strategy to end abuse of taxpayers’ money.
Smoked out of my own car
From: Paul Morley, Ribblesdale Estate, Long Preston, Skipton.
HAVE the health police and the Government got it in for me? The only places I ever really smoke are at the pub and occasionally in the car (on my own or with other smokers).
So not only am I consigned to the outside of public houses like a leper, no fun in a Yorkshire winter, but if they have their way I wont be able to have a crafty fag in my own motor. Why don’t they just ban smoking altogether?
Oops, I forgot, they wouldn’t want to have to load the billions of pounds we pay a year in tobacco taxes on to the non- smoking population would they, a sure-fire vote loser.
And before anybody moans about what smokers cost the NHS a year, most of the figures show that we contribute much more in tax than we take from the NHS.
We are also told that passive smoking is bad but I have yet to see any hard facts printed to support this.
These killjoys should try standing in a smoky room for an hour and standing in a busy city gridlocked street for an hour and see where the effects can be most felt – they will be trying to ban the internal combustion engine after that.
For the record I only smoke when I go out for a pint, a couple of times a week, and the occasional one in the car and I have never smoked at home.
Toll of war
From: T Carlile, Park Avenue, Shelley Park, Huddersfield.
IT’S very sad that four more young soldiers’ bodies are being brought back from Afghanistan (Yorkshire Post, November 30).
Messrs Blair, Brown and Cameron should be made to attend all these funerals.
After all, they were responsible for sending them to their deaths.